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Deceptions

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Lea Lavellan was deceptive.

Not in the same way Leliana was deceptive. Leliana who was a layer of carefully placed lies over carefully held secrets. Lea was deceptive in a different way.

While thin – thinner than Cassandra – she was taller than most elves and solid muscle. While she used a great sword she was quick to swing it and even quicker to move with it, wielding it with a grace that was usually only reserved for rogues. Most people underestimated her. None had to learn their lesson twice.

She was Dalish, born in the Free Marches and travelling around the area – had been one of their best hunters and one of their fiercest defenders against those who would chase them from their camps. Now she was Herald of Andraste, Inquisitor and Cassandra had found she had not needed to explain anything about the Chantry's teachings. Lea knew it all, was well learned about all sorts of religions and human society surprising everyone. She was fiercely proud of being Dalish too, but didn't hate humans.

She looked formidable, her armour impeccable and her sword sharp and lethal. She was deadly in battle, never missing and showing little mercy to her enemies. Beneath all that though she was sweet. Sweet and soft and incredibly kind.

This is what tripped Cassandra up the most, the sweet Inquisitor with the massive sword and bigger body count, offering her flowers and Dalish poems and little trinkets. Watching her cut down a Red Templar with a single swing and then giving the seeker a little smile that Cassandra had discovered was just for her.

Her attention too, she seemed so easily distracted but when it came to Cassandra she was attentive and focused.

Cassandra's own feelings were deceptive too. She pushed down whatever she felt about the Inquisitor, whatever she felt about the woman that wasn't respectful or friendly. She could barely keep it down, keep it in, when Lea gave her another flower, pressed and dried within the pages of a book. Or gave up the last of the tea so that Cassandra might drink it. Or read books that the seeker liked so they could discuss them in the Tavern or around the camp fire.

She didn't seem to flirting with her – not obviously so. Which may have been a deception too, the Seeker was not sure. Lea seemed to be courting her in a way, but without pursuing her, without pushing her for more, never indicated if that's what she wanted. If that more was a closer friendship or something more intimate.

Another day another flower – a strange looking rose that wasn't particularly pretty but smelt so beautiful that Cassandra barely noticed the way it looked.

“I harvested some seeds too, for the garden,” Lea said, with that smile again, Cassandra's smile, “It will smell amazing in Spring.”

Cassandra looked at it, between the pages of her worn copy of Swords and Shields she had leant Lavellan just last week and frowned. Had she finished the book already? Or given up? And why another flower? She didn't know where to start.

“These...this flower? You've given them to others?” she asked, feeling her cheeks flushing red, unable to look Lea in the eye.

“No, just you,” she said, her smile wider, eyes brighter. A faint blush that reached the tips of her ears that Cassandra thought was adorable.

Ugh, where had that come from.

“Oh, and thanks for the book by the way. I read it all in one go. I would've given it back but I needed something to press the flower in first.”

“Did...did you like it?”

“I loved it. Are there more? Do you have them all.”

Cassandra smiled then, finding herself moving a little closer to the Inquisitor around the camp fire. They talked about the first book for a little while, Cassandra promising to let her borrow the second volume as soon as they got back to Skyhold and the Seeker forgot about the fact that she felt like she was being courted.

Forgot about the fact that she felt like she wanted to be courted.

By Lea.

That thought crawled into her mind as she crawled onto her bedroll, and she let it bounce around for a little while before she fell to sleep.

The next day Cassandra wanted to ask the Inquisitor what her intentions were. As if she were the noble princess she was in name and Lea some knight come to whisk her away.

She wanted to confront her and get to the heart of the matter because the matter was getting to her heart.

She didn't know where it had all come from; perhaps she had read too many of Varric's silly romance novels. Perhaps all of that poetry had finally gone to her head. Perhaps she was falling in love. She wasn't sure but then she liked the woman certainly. She was bright and funny and kind. And strong and sure and honest.

She had taken on the mantel of Herald and Inquisitor as if she were made for it as Cassandra would've done herself. She could've asked nothing more of the woman.

“Cassandra, are you unwell?”

Perhaps she was. Perhaps she had a fever.

When Lea pressed a hand to her forehead she certainly felt flushed.

But that two could've been a deception.

“I – I am fine Inquisitor,” she managed to get out, taking the woman's thin wrist in her own and pulling her hand away. Lea looked a little hurt and took a step away.

“Good,” she said, softly, “if you need anything.”

“I will let you know.”

She managed to get a smile out, or what she thought might be a smile. It was hard to tell from the Inquisitor's face exactly what her own expression was and when the other woman turned away she sighed. Unsure if she should've just asked, or what. She always sounded so blunt, so overly brash she had no idea what Lea saw in her.

If she indeed saw anything at all.

It could all be another deception conjured up by her own mind and lonely heart.

“Cassandra,” Lea said, calling her before she turned to go into her tent. “I do wish you'd call me Lea,” she told her, a hopeful look in her bright eyes. That flush back on her cheeks and up to the tips of her ears. “unless of course you aren't interested...in doing so.”

“I am,” Cassandra replied in a heartbeat, “Lea.”

That smile again, so far from deceptive and full of emotion; all of it wonderful and all of it aimed at her and Cassandra smiled back, smiled for sure this time.

“Good night,” the Inquisitor said, heading into her own little tent, the flap falling closed behind her, the green of her hand muted by the cloth but still shining through.

Cassandra thought that conversation may have been a deception too; she wasn't entirely sure they were just talking about being on first name basis. It wasn't the time to question it though, she decided, out here in Storm Coast, even if the rain had held off.

Back in Skyhold, back in Skyhold she would find the second volume of Swords and Shields and maybe some poetry and they would talk.

It sounded like another deception, but then Cassandra hadn't quite decided what they would talk about as she disappeared into her own tent and fell to sleep.

xxx

They didn't talk.

Lea continued to shower Cassandra with attention without making it obvious with what she wanted though. Plus they sparred as usual, and drank in the tavern on occasion with their friends. They were friends too, it was simple Cassandra decided. The gifts were simple things from a friend – the dried flowers and the little runes and the odd things she found in Skyhold with the merchants or hidden around the place.

Except after a couple of weeks the dried flowers became a bouquet, the rune became a life ward amulet and they spent their time alone together in the tavern instead of with their friends.

It certainly felt like courting, except Lea wouldn't admit it and Cassandra was too afraid of being wrong.

Because I want this.

She hadn't really wanted to be courted, or at least she hadn't in a long time, even if she read romance novels and had ideals about courtship didn't mean she actually wanted one. She didn't think it was even possible with the war, and Corypheus and the Inquisitor. Even when she had met Regalyan she hadn't been expecting courtship or had wanted it. Not that it had been unwelcome then.

Not that it wasn't unwelcome now.

And Lea was giving her everything she wanted without spelling it out to her. It made her dizzy with want and confusion, but still she was unable to confront the woman. She felt like it was too far past the point for that conversation.

Then one day, a few weeks later, Lea kissed her.

Nothing so brazen as on the lips, nor on the cheek but at the end of a pleasant evening in the tavern talking about the upcoming missions and whether or not they could convince Varric to write another chapter of Swords and Shields after Cassandra explained how she'd left it on a cliff hanger. Lea had insisted on walking the seeker to the armoury and at the door and had taken her hand in hers and pressed her lips to her knuckles.

Cassandra gasped, flushing and staring and unable to say a word as Lea wished her good night with that smile once more and that flush that went all the way to the tips of her delicate ears as they poked out from beneath her dark blonde hair. She looked lovely and the only thing that stopped Cassandra from reaching out to and kissing her was the fact that she started to walk away.

She wished her good night, the words a little louder than she would've liked but she wanted to make sure Lea heard her. She did, the Inquisitor turning and smiling, before skipping up the stairs and into the main hall. Cassandra watched her until she was inside and went up into the loft.

She didn't sleep for a while, just sitting in her warm bed clothes smiling into the dark for the longest time until her cheeks hurt and sleep was impossible to resist.

xxx

Cassandra felt happy when she woke up the next morning. Feeling a little lighter as she went through her morning routine, a little clearer as she went through a few movements with Cullen and some new recruits. Cullen stopped her to ask her what had happened, what was making her smile as if it was something to be suspicious about rather than something to find joy in but she didn't let it deter her good mood.

She ate her midday meal surrounded by people but without really engaging anyone in conversation and realised for the first time – in a very long time – she didn't feel lonely.

That hit her harder than any revelation she'd had over the past few weeks. Wanting to be courted, possibly falling in love, feeling happy; those might be deceptions, or at least fleeting but this felt deeper than anything else. Or perhaps it was just a culmination of effects, she wasn't sure but Lea had made her feel like she had a place in the world when she had lost the last of the Seekers, a home when she had been without one since had lost her parents. A family she had needed since she'd lost her brother.

After staring at the remains of her soup for too long a time she decided to mull on it over another chapter of Swords and Shields. Something familiar and easy to settle her mind.

When Lea came running over she didn't hide the book as she would with anyone else, and smiled at her as she ran up to her. She stood instead and waited until the younger woman reached her, smiling brightly.

“Cassandra,” she said, a little breathless, “I have a surprise for you,” she said. She took her hand, and held it. There was that flush again, and Cassandra noted it went down her chest as well as up to her ears and the seeker briefly fantasised about finding out how far it spread exactly. She felt a corresponding blush on her own cheeks.

“What is it?” she asked, trying to push down her ardour.

“It comes with a problem, complications.”

“Complications?”

“Varric.”

Cassandra made a noise and Lea chuckled.

“I convinced Varric to write another Swords and Shields, for you, to resolve the cliff hanger.”

“You did?!”

Lea nodded.

“He finished it but he won't let me give it to you unless he is there too. Because he can be an ass and you guys dislike each other.”

“That's putting it mildly.”

“Perhaps,” Lea continued, “but either way he won't let me have it. I'm sorry,” she squeezed her hand. “But, if you can endure it and be appropriately annoyed and chagrined.”

“I'm sure I can manage that,” Cassandra cut in and Lea laughed.

“Then, I will make it up to you later,” she told her. Another squeeze of her hand. “I promise.”

“Very well. It will be worth it.”

“Absolutely.”

Then Lea kissed her hand again, a brief touch of pink lips that was barely there before she ran off again.

A few minutes later she returned with Varric and couldn't help the annoyed snort as they approached her, and gave him her usual glare before smiling at Lea for a second and turning back to Varric.

“What have you done now?” she asked.

“I get it Seeker, you're still sore after our little spat,” he replied and Cassandra was irritated for real now.

“I am not a child Varric, do no suggest I am without reason.”

He nodded.

“A peace offering. The next chapter of Swords and Shields,” he said, with a small smug smile. “I hear you're a fan.”

He offered her the book and she held back from snatching it up, looking to Lea for a second.

“If you're not interested, you're not interested. If still needs editing anyhow.”

He started to walk away and Cassandra wondered if he would really go, if Lea would let him and she snapped.

“Wait!”

“You're probably wondering what happens to the Knight-Captain after the last chapter,” he said, turning back.

“Nothing should happen to her, she was falsely accused!” Cassandra cried, her voice a little higher than she would've liked but damn Varric knew how to needle her and she wanted that book.

“Well it turns out the Guardsmen – ” Varric started, turning away again and Cassandra interrupted him, a little hysterical now but unable to help it because dammit she had been waiting for this book for a year.

“Don't tell me!” she said, running up to him and snatching the book from his hand.

He turned back and smirked at her, grinning at the Inquisitor as Cassandra stared down at the book.

“This is the part where you thank the Inquisitor,” Varric said, “I don't normally do sneak peaks, after all.”

“I...” she hesitated, not sure what to say because she wanted to embrace Lea and thank her profusely, but didn't want Varric to see, didn't want to do so without having talked to the other woman about...everything. “Thank you,” she said softly, hoping Lea understood. Hoping they would be alone soon.

“Um, Varric's the one you should be thanking,” Lea said.

The writer bowed.

“I am but a humble servant to my loyal readers,” he said and Lea chuckled.

“I wonder if I have time to read the first part,” she said to herself, looking down at the book.

“Don't forget to tell your friends...if you have any,” Varric said as he walked away but Cassandra ignored him and headed back to the little stump she sat on when in the yard, Lea following. When they were alone, she reached out to Lea and took her hand.

“Thank you,” she said. “I appreciate this.”

“I'm sorry Varric was such an...”

“Ass?” Cassandra tried.

“Cassandra!” Lea laughed, scandalised.

“I do not mind. It was worth it.”

“I demand to read it after you,” Lea said. “Will you meet me tonight?”

“Of course,” she said, “In the Tavern?”

“No, no, somewhere else, somewhere private,” Lea said and Cassandra nodded.

“Of course. Anywhere.”

“There is a grove, just outside Skyhold.”

Lea couldn't quite look Cassandra in the eye, looking around them, down at the book and back up to her lips.

“After evening meal?” she asked, tugging on her hand to get her attention properly. She finally looked up at her and smiled.

“Yes, will you come?”

“Of course.”

She suddenly felt daring and lifted the young woman's hand to her lips, kissing it gently. Lea gasped, much as Cassandra had, a lovely light sound that she treasured.

“I will see you then,” she said and Cassandra reluctantly let go of her hand.

Lea nodded and walked away, and the Seeker watched her go once more, before dropping down onto the stump and opening the book. At least she didn't have to sit around and think about the upcoming evening, and perhaps she and Lea could read a little of the book together this evening.

xxx

Cassandra didn't see Lea at the evening meal in the main hall but that wasn't unusual. The Inquisitor often took her meals in her quarters, or in the tavern, or sometimes missed meals entirely. Cassandra didn't approve of her missing a meal – the young woman needed to keep up her health and stamina more than anyone. Especially as she led every mission and as the mark on her hand caused pain on the regular basis.

She would make sure she had eaten later – perhaps she could take some pastries or a little bit of the evening's cake. When she had finished her own meal she decided and took two pieces of the sweet cake, wrapping them up in a clean handkerchief. She ignored Varric as she passed by his table and headed out into Skyhold. She knew the grove the Inquisitor had spoken of. She had spent some time looking at the maps of the mountains the scouts had charted when they'd first arrived at the fortress. It wasn't far and she headed out without her sword or her breastplate, carrying the cake and the new chapter of Swords and Shields – she had read a good chunk of in the afternoon and found she was willing to leave the rest to meet with Lea.

It was dusk when she arrived, the moon high and bright, but she saw another light source as she walked into the grove, candles lining her path and flickering in the lightest of breezes. She felt her chest tighten as she headed into the grove and found Lea standing there holding a bouquet of roses. Behind her was a blanket laid out, a bottle of wine and two glasses on top of it.

“Lea?”

The petals of the red roses fluttered slightly as she held them, and her smile was bright but a little strained, her cheeks redder than usual.

“Do you like it?” she asked. “I wanted to read some poetry as well, but I couldn't find any written by women about women and I thought that was important and Josephine knew of some Antivan poets and I was waiting for the books to arrive but they never did and I wanted to do this now, rather than wait any longer...”

She trailed off her quick ramble and Cassandra smiled, rushing up to her and taking her hand, dropping the book and pieces of cake as she did so. She wrapped her arms around the smaller woman and held her closely for a long moment, until it felt like Lea had finally stopped shaking.

She had no idea the woman could even feel nervous. That she did amazed Cassandra.

“Lea, I love it...” she said, pulling away.

She felt brave then. Brave and loved. She smiled at the younger woman before leaning down and capturing her lips for the first time. They were soft, she thought, and cold, but so very sweet. Lea wrapped her arms around Cassandra and dropped the roses, pulling her closer, their bodies fitting together. She pulled her in deeper, kissing her harder, letting the Inquisitor slowly move them towards the blanket she had set up.

Cassandra pulled away for a moment to see where they were before pulling her down on the floor on top of her, feeling the light weight of Lea pressing against her in all the right places and she groaned. Lea took the opportunity to push her tongue forward a little, testing Cassandra and the two kissed deeper, almost sloppy as their hands travelled over their bodies. The seeker settled her hands in the dark blonde hair, messing up the tresses for a while, pressing her hips up as Lea moaned into her mouth.

She thought for a moment she should stop, slow down and talk about what they were doing but she was already lost in the sensation of Lea's body against hers. She had wanted this too, deep down, had dreamt about it on occasion but had been unable to face the truth of what she had felt physically for a long while.

Too long.

“Cassandra,” Lea whispered, kissing down her her neck with gentle pecks and occasional nips with her sharp teeth. She moved her hands to her tunic and started to undo the buttons, and the seeker panicked for a second. She finished with the buttons and went to pull the shirt open when Cassandra grabbed her wrists and stopped her.

“Wait,” she gasped.

This was too much, this was everything she wanted, everything she needed but it was too fast. Too much without, without saying something, anything.

“What is it Cassandra?” Lea asked, pulling away onto her knees. Cassandra remained on her back, breathing hard. She held the edges of her tunic together.

“I am sorry, I...”

“Do you want to stop? I went to fast, I'm sorry. I want to talk to you, and drink with you not, not make love to you. I mean, I did, of course, I do, but not if you don't want to, oh Cassandra, I'm so sorry.”

Cassandra frowned, pulling Lea back into an embrace for a moment.

“It's not your fault Lea,” she said softly. “I have, have so little experience. And only with a man, many years ago when I was young. No one since.”

“Then we will go slow,” Lea said, with a smile. “There is no hurry.”

It felt like another deception, her pulse was thumping loud and hard, the buzz of arousal rushing up and down her spine and making her want to arch her entire body back into Lea's and beg her to take her as fast or as slow as the other woman wanted.

The sat up once more, and Cassandra buttoned up her tunic quickly before fetching the cake and book she had dropped, the flowers Lea had dropped. When she sat back down on the blanket, the Inquisitor had poured them a couple of glasses of the wine.

They didn't speak. Cassandra found she didn't know what to say and Lea didn't seem to either but the woman's face was blank for a moment, clear and serene before splitting into a nervous smile.

“Cassandra,” she said finally. “I wanted, I wanted to tell you of my intentions. I want court you, properly, if you would be agreeable. I've wanted to for months now – have been trying to tell you for months now.”

“I had wondered,” she replied taking a drink of her wine. “All the flowers and trinkets and kisses.”

“I should've said something weeks ago. Months ago.”

“Why didn't you?” Cassandra asked.

“Too nervous,” she admitted, looking away. “I wasn't sure you'd be interested and I didn't want to lose my friend.”

“That will never happen. Whatever the outcome of this may be.”

Lea nodded seemingly satisfied, and shifted closer to Cassandra.

“Will you read to me?” she asked, “Some of Varric's new book.”

Cassandra nodded and leaning back on the tree behind her she put her arm around Lea, the other woman settling into her and she felt that sense of peace again – that sense that everything was right in the world. She felt like this was good and right and home.

She read for a little while and slowly they both relaxed once more. After a little while Lea's hand settled on her thigh, slowly stroking up and down without any real intention or so she thought. Bit by bit the caresses became a little harder, a little higher, fingers skimming the inside of her thigh every now and then, fingers brushing close to her sex once or twice. Cassandra tried not moan but couldn't help the little gasps and sighs that interrupted her telling of the story. The smaller woman was grinning at her and Cassandra rolled her eyes.

Lea finally settled her hand at the top of her thigh, drumming her fingers, her knuckles brushing ever so slightly over the seekers centre. She gasped again letting go of the book to grasp Lea's thin wrist.

“Lea,” she moaned, then feeling bold once more moved the Inquisitor's hand to press directly on her sex. The blonde chuckled and tapped her fingers over the seem of Cassandra's breeches in an uneven rhythm, applying a little extra pressure now and then. The seeker groaned at the sensation and turned her head to kiss Lea's cheek. On impulse she ran her tongue over the edge of her ear up to the very tip before taking it into her mouth and sucking.

Lea howled.

Cassandra has never heard a sound quite like it. So light but primitive.

The young woman leapt at her then, straddling her and kissing her hard, nipping at Cassandra's bottom lip and shoving her tongue deep into her mouth to taste her. The older woman groaned, hands flying to her hips holding tight as she squirmed in her lap.

“Creators, Cassandra,” she moaned.

“I had always wondered about your ears,” she sad softly, smiling. “Did you know you blush all the way to the tips of your ears.”

“You notice things like that?”

“About you I do,” she replied.

Lea kissed her hard once more.

“Your words are more beautiful than any poetry Cassandra.”

Cassandra blushed.

She slipped her hands beneath Lea's tunic feeling the soft skin there. The Inquisitor wriggled in her lap again trying to get closer, hands going back to the buttons of Cassandra's tunic.

“May I?” she asked, fingering the buttons there.

She nodded, still stroking her fingers over the skin of her waist as Lea undid the buttons slowly, the tunic falling open to reveal her white breast band. The Inquisitor didn't hesitate to reach around and pull at the ties. The material dropped to her waist and Lea flung it aside dramatically with a laugh. Cassandra chuckled quietly feeling a little more confident, especially when the woman straddling her leaned back to look at her.

Lea sighed, smiling before moving back in to kiss her, small hands cupping her breasts. Cassandra moaned gently, her nipples hardening against her palms, surprised to feel how soft their were.

“They're bigger than I expected them to be,” Lea said, then her eyes shot up to meet Cassandra's. “Shit, sorry, I probably should not have said that.”

“It is fine,” Cassandra told her with a smile, “but there is something I wish to discover about you.”

She moved quickly, using her strength to pick Lea up easily and flip their positions, lying the smaller woman onto her back. She hovered over her for a second before settling some of her weight on her.

“What?” Lea managed to ask in a squeak, pressing her body up into Cassandra's as she settled between her legs. The Seeker didn't reply for a moment quiet as she made quick work of her own tunic.

“I wanted to see how far down your body you blush,” Cassandra said quietly, a little embarrassed at her own confession, her own desire. Lea hadn't bothered with a breast band and Cassandra smiled to see the blush on the young woman's face spread down to her breasts at least.

“You are beautiful Lea,” she told her, feeling her own blush spreading over her cheeks.

The Inquisitor cupped the back of her neck and pulled her down for a kiss, pressing their breasts together and Cassandra felt a rush of heat go through her at the sensation.

“Just how often have you been thinking about me Cassandra?” Lea asked, the blush deepening a little but not spreading any further.

“Too often. It has...been distracting.”

Lea giggled, then moaned as Cassandra dipped her head to kiss the tops of her pale breasts, pressing her chapped lips to the soft skin making her way slowly down to her hard nipples, taking one in her mouth. This she could do, could enjoy despite her inexperience. Lea made everything easy to do, made her bold and she sucked on the nipple revelling in the younger woman's cries. She pressed kisses between her breasts before moving across to swirl her tongue around her other nipple and the noises Lea made went straight to her core, that buzzing spread down her spine and over her clit. She ground her hips down, feeling the seem of her breeches against her core but it wasn't nearly enough.

First she would hear exactly how Lea sounded when she reached her orgasm.

She shifted back onto her knees, dotting kisses down Lea's body until she reached the edge of her leggings, pulling them open and down, along with her small clothes. She was aware she could've stripped her slowly, probably should've, but Lea wasn't complaining – not from the way she sighed and hitched her hips up slightly as Cassandra settled back between her legs.

“Is this okay Lea?” she asked, hesitating if only to give herself a moment to breathe, a moment to take in the view of the blonde spread out and nude before her.

For her.

“Yes, please Cassandra,” she moaned. The seeker smiled at her before dipping her head to lick a long over her lips. Lea was wet and swollen, already hot as she pressed her tongue to her clit gently at first, grinning as she felt the young woman buck into her mouth. Her small hands flew to her head, fingers gripping at her short black hair she started to lick and suck at her sex, feeling her become slicker as she did so. It gave her a rush, to feel the Lea react to her as she pressed her tongue into her body.

Lea howled again and Cassandra chuckled. She tried to thrust her tongue in and out of her slick heat trying to get her to make that noise again. It stirred something deep inside her and she rode out the movement of Lea's hips as she moved to flick her tongue over her clit in an uneven rhythm. The blonde grumbled, then cried out when Cassandra took the sensitive bud in her mouth once more, pressing a finger at her entrance, gently pushing forward.

“Cass, Cass, please.”

Cass. No one had called her that for a very long time and she groaned, happy and glorious pressing her long finger into Lea's tight body.

“Creators,” she moaned, “more, another, more.”

Cassandra pulled pushed another long finger into Lea's slick, pressing deep into her body and held still listening to the woman groan in pleasure and feeling the muscles squeeze her digits. She pulled back slowly, lifting her head to watch her reactions as she started to thrust her fingers. She was stunning like this, back arched, eyes closed, one hand still in Cassandra's hair and the other squeezing her breast roughly.

It was the right time but it still felt like they had waited to long to get to this point. To get to this place of complete trust and intimacy.

Cassandra kept thrusting her fingers, bending her head to suck on her clit again, keeping up a steady rhythm listening to her moans and feeling her closing in on her orgasm. She couldn't help the minute movements of her own hips, trying to get as much friction against her own clit as she could as she played with Lea's.

“Are you close Lea my darling?” she asked, her voice deep and breathless and Lea whined but couldn't form any words to answer her. Cassandra smiled and continued her ministrations, using more of her strength to thrust harder into her small body, fucking her hard and when she felt the change, felt the edge, she hooked her fingers inside her body and pressed hard.

Lea howled.

Louder than before, loud and long and tugged hard on Cassandra hair displacing her braid and making her hiss. When she collapsed back onto the blanket, she didn't let go of her hair until Cassandra pulled her fingers from her body slowly, pulling back on her haunches, trying to straighten her hair with her clean hand.

“Oh Cassandra, Ma vhenan,” she gasped, breathing hard.

The seeker smiled, wondering what the Elvish words meant, moving to lie beside her and kiss her gently. She let her catch her breath before speaking.

“Are you okay?” she asked, and Lea chuckled.

“Yes, yes,” she breathed, before moving quickly and rolling to lie on top of Cassandra. “Very. Is not obvious?”

Cassandra didn't answer, simply allowed the woman to kiss her, one of her leg's slipping between her own thighs and pressing down. The seeker moaned, arching up to chase the pressure against her clit, to chase the pleasure that shot through her.

“Lea,” she groaned. “What does? What does Ma vhe-vvhe...” she couldn't quite pronounce the word, nor finish her sentence.

“My heart,” Lea replied, still a little breathless, “you are my heart Cassandra,” she said, rocking her leg forward again, Cassandra rocking back. They started to move against each other, Lea's thigh strong and hard between her legs, pushing hard against her, harder every time. “I want to hear you cry out Cass,” she whispered, “over and over.”

Cassandra was already close to the edge, close to feeling something wonderful and spectacular and she was still mostly clothed, Lea's leg pressing the seem of her breeches tighter against her clit. She was damp, wet through her small clothes at least and she groaned as Lea put more force into her movements. Their breasts pressed tight against each others, nipples moving slick over damp skin, lips brushing lightly every so often.

“Ma vhenan. Ma vhenan,” she repeated over and over and Cassandra reacted to the words as much as any of the physical stimulation, “I love you,” Lea said, eyes closed against the confession and Cassandra couldn't hold on any longer. She cried out, pleasure shooting through her, searing her senses and she started to shake as Lea kept up the pressure on her clit for a little longer.

When she came down again, she felt tears in her eyes. She went to wipe them away when Lea stopped her, wiping them away herself so very gently that Cassandra felt more tumble freely.

“I love you Lea,” she whispered. “Terribly.”

“Perhaps my intentions were clear all along,” she said with a soft smile.

“Perhaps. I fell in love regardless,” Cassandra told her.

Lea smiled, kissing her briefly before pressing kisses over her jaw and down her neck, over her chest.

“Lea,” she groaned. “What are you doing?” she asked.

“Exploring,” she said, with a grin. “We're taking our time remember.”

Cassandra chuckled and relaxed back onto the blanket, letting the woman she loved have her way.

xxx

“Read another,” Lea said.

They were leaning against the tree again, naked now, the Inquisitor leaning into Cassandra's warmth as she put an arm around her, sitting in between her legs this time. The candles were still burning, the moon hight above them now. They were half way through the book and Cassandra would've been happy to remain in the grove and read all night, but it was long past midnight and they both had responsibilities to return to.

Or at least to wake up to.

“We should return to Skyhold.”

Lea sighed, a dramatic intake of air and exhale of noise and Cassandra chuckled.

“Will you return to my chambers with me? And spend the night?”

Her voice was a little broken as she spoke and Cassandra wanted nothing more than to return hand in hand with the Inquisitor, to climb the steps together up to her room and crawl into bed with her. To sleep and feel at home.

It seemed to simple.

Another deception, nothing was simple when it came to her life.

She smiled though, despite the complications.

“Of course.”

Lea beamed at her and the complications were worth it, the anxiety she felt was worth it, because she smiled at her like that. Full of life and love and home.

The Inquisitor jumped to her feet gracefully and pulled Cassandra up, kissing her and laughing. She helped her dress, bit by bit, dropping to her knees to help her into her boots and Cassandra felt she should be doing that for her. Lea was the the Inquisitor, Lea was the one that made her feel so special.

But then she was dressed before Cassandra could even offer and instead she helped her blow out the candles and collect them up along with the blanket and book, the flowers, the glasses and empty wine bottle. She juggled what she carrying and held out a hand for Lea. She gasped before taking it, clasping it tightly in her smaller one.

This was real.

There were no more deceptions between them.